We know that just uttering the words root canal can strike fear into the hearts of even brave men and women. Fear not, Farmington restorative dentistry patients! Root canals are designed to relieve pain not cause it. We have come a long way from the procedures of the past and root canals are usually quick and comfortable.
Your teeth are made up of several layers with hard enamel at the top, a second layer called dentin, and the soft inner pulp, commonly referred to as the nerve, which carries blood and nutrients to living teeth. When your tooth is compromised by a severe cavity or cracks to allow bacteria inside, infection can take hold causing inflammation, pressure, and pain. Root canal therapy is provided when decay has damaged or killed the tooth.
It is important to know the symptoms of an infection that may be in need of a root canal. If you are in constant pain, you experience prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold, tenderness when eating or brushing, tooth discoloration, fever, or swelling of the gum around the tooth.
First, Dr. Cole will inject a local anesthetic to completely numb the teeth, gums, and skin around the root canal site. We will protect surrounding teeth by containing the infected tooth with a small, thin sheet of rubber. Once you are comfortable, begin removing the diseased or dead pulp. The final step in the root canal process will be to fill your tooth with medicine and then a biologically inert material. Depending on the amount of tooth structure we are able to preserve, you may only need a filling to complete the process, or a dental crown may be required to restore strength for a long-lasting restoration.
For the first few days post treatment, your tooth may be sensitive. This is more likely to occur if there was pain or infection before we performed the root canal. Most patients find that this discomfort is easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. However, consistent pain for days after treatment is not normal. If you find that you are still not feeling well several days after root canal therapy, please call our office and let us know.
It is important to note that dental pain does not get better on its own. A painful tooth is telling you something, and that is to contact us and schedule an appointment. Dr. Cole and the team at Integrity Dental are always gentle and compassionate, and we offer sedation dentistry to help relax you if needed. Don’t let dental disease compromise your smile. We offer a full spectrum of restorative dentistry procedures to return health and comfort.